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Decision No: 00/64C
Practitioner: Dr Morgan Francis Fahey
Charge Characteristics: Sexual misconduct
Additional Orders: Doctor denied application for interim name suppression:  9955chearpriminlaw  Decision appealed to District Court. Court upheld the Decision (Fahey v MPDT et al (High Court, Wellington, CP 274/99, 11 February 2000, McGechan J))
Complainants granted interim name suppression:  9955chearpriminlaw
Complainants granted permanent name suppression:  9955cfindings
Interim suspension of registration:  9955chearpriminlaw
Decision: 0064cfindings
Supplementary Decision: 0064cfindingssup



A Complaints Assessment Committee charged that Dr Morgan Francis Fahey was convicted in the High Court of the following thirteen offences, each being an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of three months or longer:

  1. Rape, section 128 Crimes Act 1961 (x1).
  2. Sexual violation, section 128(1) Crimes Act 1961 (x1).
  3. Indecent assault, section 135A Crimes Act 1961 (x11).

and the circumstances of the offending reflect adversely on Dr Fahey's fitness to practise medicine.



The CAC originally determined Dr Fahey should be charged with nine charges of disgraceful conduct in a professional respect. In a decision dated 14 December 1999, the Tribunal postponed the hearing of those charges pending the outcome of criminal charges laid against Dr Fahey, as the charges related to essentially the same subject-matter as the charges laid with the Tribunal and additionally involved a charge of sexual violation and other sexual offending.

In the High Court at Christchurch, Dr Fahey pleaded guilty to all the criminal charges and was sentenced to a total term of six years imprisonment. Seven of the criminal convictions related to seven of the charges originally lodged with the Tribunal. Accordingly those charges were amended and came before the Tribunal as a referral of conviction. The two remaining charges were dealt with separately by the Tribunal (see 99/55C).

All the offences for which Dr Fahey was convicted involved the most serious abuses of trust carried on over a period of 31 years, all involved sexual misconduct, and all occurred in the context of Dr Fahey's professional practice. Dr Fahey pleaded guilty.



The Tribunal found the charge was established and that Dr Fahey's conduct, and the nature and extent of his offending was disgraceful.

The Tribunal found the fact that Dr Fahey perpetrated the offending on patients, and entirely in the context of his professional practice, was reprehensible and dishonourable in the extreme. The Tribunal considered Dr Fahey's abuse of his patients was, and is abhorrent to all medical practitioners. It found his behaviour had disgraced himself and brought the medical profession into disrepute and the impact of Dr Fahey's offending on the integrity of the profession was dramatic and will be long-lasting.

The Tribunal considered that this case should not be regarded as the 'benchmark' for, or as defining "disgraceful conduct in a professional respect" in the professional disciplinary context. It regarded the nature of the offending in Dr Fahey's case as extraordinary.



The Tribunal ordered that Dr Fahey's name be removed from the medical register. It strongly recommended that Dr Fahey never be permitted to practise medicine again. The Tribunal ordered that Dr Fahey be censured and that he pay 75% of the costs and expenses of and incidental to the hearing and inquiry.

In imposing costs the Tribunal took into account the fact that the Tribunal is funded by the profession and Dr Fahey had, until the last moment, strenuously denied and defended all of the allegations and charges made against him. He also caused the CAC and the Tribunal to incur costs in the High Court and in the Tribunal, dealing with applications for name suppression, suspension, and a stay of the hearing of the professional disciplinary charges.


Supplementary Decision:

This Tribunal reviewed the order for costs made against Dr Fahey. It confirmed the orders made by the Tribunal and acknowledged and corrected an error in relation to the amount of costs.